Interactions in mixed monolayers between distearoyl-l-phosphatidylethanolamine, rod outer segment phosphatidylethanolamine and all-trans retinal. Effect of pH

Sylvain Robert, Pierre Tancrède, Christian Salesse, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The interactions in mixed monolayers between distearoyl-l-phosphatidylethanolamine, natural phosphatidylethanolamine purified from bovine rod outer segments and all-trans retinal have been studied at the nitrogen/water interface at 21.0 ± 0.5°C. Seven mixtures of each phospholipid with all-trans retinal, covering the whole range of molar fractions, were studied. The monolayers were spread on a 1·10-3 M phosphate buffer subphase at three different pH values, 5.5, 7.1 and 8.2. The results for the two series of mixtures are strikingly different. The surface phase rule shows that all-trans retinal is miscible with the natural phospholipid at the interface. Small, negative deviations with respect to the additivity rule are observed in this case. The excess free energies of mixing were also calculated as a function of concentration for this system at four different surface pressures, 5, 7, 10 and 13 mN·m-1. They are negative for the four surface pressures considered and symmetrical with respect to the mole fraction. On the other hand, when distearoyl-l-phosphatidylethanolamine is mixed with all-trans retinal, the components are no longer miscible at the interface. This marked difference in behaviour between the two lipids reflects the importance of hydrophobic interactions in the mixed monolayers of phospholipids with retinals. Furthermore, for the two series of mixtures, the surface pressure isotherms do not show any significant shift when the subphase pH is changed from 5.5 to 8.2. This behaviour raises questions about the formation of a Schiff base between phosphatidylethanolamine and retinal at the interface. It is suggested that, owing to the nature of the disk membranes, such an effect would also be observed in vivo. The possible implications of this are discussed, particularly with respect to questions pertaining to the stability of the retinal chromophore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 5 1983
Externally publishedYes



  • Free energy
  • Mixed monolayer
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine
  • Phospholipid
  • Retinal
  • Surface pressure isotherm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology

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